By k | January 21, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

If I announce that
a sale starts
at midnight on the 22nd,
the average person
won’t know when this is.

Is it tonight
or tomorrow night?
Is 12 midnight the end of the day
or the start of the day?

(Technically, midnight belongs to neither day
so it is open to interpretation)

In the best case scenario,
you will receive calls
and you’ll have the opportunity
to talk to these prospects
about your product.
You won’t, of course, mock them
about not knowing the difference.
Prospects who feel stupid
don’t buy.

Many prospects who feel stupid
won’t ask either,
especially if they’re undecided
about the product, service, or event.
Instead, they might show up
a day early
or a day late
expecting the event to happen
or they won’t show up
at the event at all.

There’s rarely a need to start anything
at midnight.
Avoid this time slot.

By k | January 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last year,
there were
over 10,000 romance novels
(I suspect it was WELL over
- perhaps even double this number).
There are 1,000’s of romance writers.

New writers entering the market
see it as saturated.
They claim everything has been done
and they try to be identical
to one of the successful writers.

That’s bullshit thinking.

Yes, there are 1,000’s of romance writers.
100’s of SciFi romance writers.
But there is only 1 romance writer
who specializes in shorter stories
- Me.

And reader/consumer preferences change.
10 years ago,
there wasn’t a market for short romance stories.
Today, there’s a huge demand.

This is how I landed my 12 novella deal
with a major New York Publisher.
I’ve captured a growing niche,
allowing me to building readers (customers)
in a saturated market.

Seena Sharp,
author of Competitive Intelligence Advantage,

“New companies often recognize
the gaps that established businesses don’t.
If they’re correct,
they gain customers and grow.”
“The challenge is not to become
like the established businesses
who think they know better
than the customer.”

There IS room for your business
in a saturated market.

By k | January 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Ben Kaufman,
Founder and CEO

spoke at the
American Express Open Booth
this year at the Consumer Electronics Show.

When asked how he scaled Quirky
so quickly,
he replied
The way Quirky drove scale quickly
was by finding partners
to help us get there.”
“I think companies are stubbornly introverted.”
“People are usually afraid of partnerships.”

Partnership is the way
I’ve built my readership so quickly.
The publishers I’ve partnered with
have a core base of readers.
Yes, I give up some of the margin per sale
but my sales volume has greatly increased.

Consider strategic partnerships
to scale quickly.

By k | January 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I talked with
Body Glove Vice President
Billy Meistrell

during the Consumer Electronics Show.
I’ve spoken with many
executives and co-founders
over the years
and Billy is, hands down,
one of the most passionate
about his product and about his target
(the surfing community).

He’s taken to heart,
the co-founders’ slogan of
“Do What You Love
And Love What You Do.”

And it is telling that one of the insights
he shared was
“They never chased the dollar.”

As he says
“Everything I do,
I do with a bounce in my step.
It is all about passion.”

Building a business often takes long hours.
Love what you do
during these long hours.

By k | January 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development, Sales

The latest trend in romance writing
is serials,
a long story
split into multiple installments.

Some writers and publishers
are seeing this as a cash grab.
They’ll split a long novel
into 10 installments,
charging $3 for each shorter story.
Instead of selling the novel for $10,
they sell the novel for $30.

Readers aren’t dumb.
They know they’re being charged more.
Splitting the story often also
diminishes the reading experience.
Installments stop at random scenes.
Readers are complaining so loudly
that some writers refuse to ‘write’ serials.

I had a serial published last year.
I didn’t receive a single complaint
about the story being a serial.
Because splitting the story into parts
ADDED to the reader experience.
The story could only be written
as a serial.
Yes, it took a bit more planning
but the results were worth it.

Any change in your product
should benefit you AND your customer.

By k | January 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You’re a doer.
You do things.
In today’s world,
this means you’re almost guaranteed
to offend someone somewhere.

I recently received angry emails
because one of my covers
was pink.
Yeah, the color was offensive.
It was degrading to women,
perpetuating a stereotype.

I didn’t give a sh*t
because anyone who thinks
pink is degrading to women
isn’t reading romance novels.
They’re not my readers.

And that’s key.
You will offend someone.
If that someone isn’t your target,
you may wish to ignore the complaint.
If that someone IS your target,
you should pay attention,
perhaps change the message
or issue an apology.

You WILL offend someone.
Try not to offend prospects and customers.

By k | January 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is SO easy to push off tasks,
especially tough, challenging tasks
we don’t really want to do,
until tomorrow.

For entrepreneurs,
this procrastination can be costly.
We don’t get paid
if we don’t do.

Timothy Pychl,
in the January issue of spirit,
to be specific
about WHEN we’ll tackle tasks
by associating the timing
with another action.

“Vague intentions,
like ‘I’ll do it this weekend,’
lack the power to move us to act.
Instead, be precise
when setting goals.
Research has shown that
connecting tasks to actions
is most effective.
For example, tell yourself:
‘As soon as I finish my coffee Saturday morning,
I’m going to…’”

Link the timing of a task
to another action
and get ‘er done!

By k | January 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I moved
from accounting
into new business development,
I also moved desks.
I no longer sat in Finance,
even though I still officially reported
to the V-P of Finance.
I sat between sales and marketing
and spent much of my time
in the beverage plants,
talking to manufacturing.

Mixing with all of the departments
was key to seeing and evaluating
new business opportunities.

Stuart R. Levine
Cut To The Chase

“Take a cue from Mike Bloomberg,
a master at getting results.
When he set up the Bloomberg L.P. offices,
he deliberately had the space designed
so that employees would regularly bump
into each other.
Every employee enters
through the fifteenth-floor reception area,
where they gain access to other floors
via a spiral staircase
that’s always filled with people
moving from one place to another.
Employees are encouraged
to interact with colleagues
in the large, centrally located snack bars
that are well stocked
with complimentary food.
To further demonstrate
his belief in the electricity of ideas,
instead of an office,
Bloomberg simply set up
a desk for himself
in one corner
of the Bloomberg broadcast newsroom.”

Encourage people
to mix within your company.

By k | January 13, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I write selling book blurbs.
I didn’t start my career
with this skill.
I obtained it
because I’ve written
over 70 blurbs.
I practiced and practiced,
becoming better with each blurb.

Carmine Gallo,
in a recent newsletter,
shares this story about
Warren Buffett

“Enrolling in a public-speaking course
was a good first step
to helping Buffett
build his confidence
as a public speaker.
The key, he said,
was signing up
to teach a night course
at the University of Nebraska—Omaha.
Buffett taught investment principles
to students twice his age.
He did it to force himself
to stand up and talk to people.
He improved his speaking skills over time
because he did it over and over again.”

Repetition is often key
to mastering a necessary skill.

By k | January 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m known in Romanceland
for celebrating everything.
I celebrate
whenever I finish a story,
contract a story,
a story releases,
I land a review or reader mail,
etc. etc.

Building a business is hard work.
There are always problems
and these problems can grind us down
if we don’t celebrate the small wins.

Brian Moran

“Celebrate the wins.
If you land a new account,
large or small,
take time to acknowledge the moment.
Too often we don’t give ourselves
enough credit for the hard work
that went into getting
someone to pay us
for our products and services.
One option is to have
a monthly team recognition
breakfast or lunch
to celebrate your wins.”

Celebrate every win.
You fought for that win.
Enjoy it.